Whitehaven Rugby League has announced the signing of utility back Joseph (Joey) Romeo on a 12-month deal from fellow Championship side Swinton Lions.

The Australian had been a target of Jonty Gorley’s heading into the 2023 campaign but missed out on securing his signature as he plied his trade for the Lions, helping them secure Championship survival in the season's final weekend.

Romeo made 19 appearances for the Lions in 2023 scoring five tries and two starts for Midlands Hurricanes on dual registration scoring a solitary try.

Speaking about signing for the club Romeo said: “ When Jonty gave me the call I could tell he really wanted me, the things he said really pulled me towards Whitehaven. He’s said it’s going to be a clean slate and he wants me to come in and help push us towards to play-offs.”

Head coach Jonty Gorley said about finally capturing Romeo saying: “ We looked at Joey for the start of last season but he ended up with Swinton and has played against us this year.

"So when he came available for next season I was interested in bringing him to Whitehaven. Joey can cover all the back 5 positions. Even though his favoured position is centre he can do an equally good job at full-back or on the wing.

"The outside backs is an area we were short a few times this season, having to play Connor and Pez in centre a few times which wasn't ideal but was a necessity because we were light in them areas and also had injuries to players in those positions. Joey will add quality and strength in depth to our squad in that area.”